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Prince William paid tribute to his late grandmother as he spoke about the importance of ending the illegal wildlife trade in his first public address as Prince of Wales Tuesday, saying: “In times of loss, it is our pleasure to honor those we have missed through the work we do.”
His father named William, Prince of Wales, after Charles became king after the Queen’s death in September.
William founded United Wildlife (UFW) in 2014, to protect endangered species endangered due to the illegal trade in wildlife products.
William’s keynote address at the UFW conference in London was followed with interest by royal watchers searching for a roadmap for the next few decades of William’s life. As expected, he used it to clearly indicate that the biggest cause of conservation would continue to be his primary concern over the coming decades.
Later this week, he is expected to reaffirm his commitment to making sport accessible to all young people, an issue he has long campaigned for, while Kate is expected to reiterate that its main causes will remain childhood development and mental health.
“In times of loss, it is a comfort to honor those we miss through the work we do.“
– Prince William
In his speech, William said: “Our natural world is one of our greatest assets. It is a lesson I have learned from a young age, from my father and my grandfather, both committed naturalists in their own right, and also from my much-missed grandmother, who took a great interest in the natural world.”
“In times of loss, it is comforting to honor those we miss through the work we do.
“I am very relieved, then, of the progress we are making to end the illegal wildlife trade.”
William also paid tribute to Anton Mzimba, the South African ranger who was killed earlier this year in a crime that shook the conservation community.
William said Mzimba’s killing was “particularly brutal” and a “shocking confirmation of the viciousness of the illegal wildlife trade,” adding, “He stood up to violent criminals and paid the ultimate price.”
The UFW has contributed to more than 250 arrests and nearly 200 confiscations of wildlife products and has trained more than 100,000 people.